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It is about giving SUNY the flexibility to be this economic engine.

SUNY chief wants regulatory relief

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SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher was in Rochester Friday to help announce a regional economic summit set for May. As the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward reports, the head of the state university system also took the opportunity to make a pitch to lawmakers.

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Zimpher announced on Friday that she'll be a panelist at this spring's Eyes on the Future 2011.

One of the focuses of that regional economic summit is how universities can lead economic revitalization.
So, for the 64-campus SUNY system to rev up its economic potential, Zimpher's unveiling a new strategic plan, called "The Power of SUNY."

But Zimpher says the schools can't do it alone. To grow as an economic powerouse, she says Albany lawmakers need to grant the system one key thing: regulatory relief.

"It is about giving SUNY the flexibility to be this economic engine," she said. "And that requires changes in policy that are years old — I should say decades old — that aren't going to work in the future."

Zimpher says business incubators are one example of where SUNY could lead, but regulatory barriers make it hard for the system to establish industry partnerships.

SUNY's "Empowerment Plan" which/that was floated in Albany this summer would've have offered some relief, but lawmakers failed to act.

Zimpher will continue her pitch soon. She's delivering a State of the University address next month.

In Rochester, I'm Zack Seward.

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